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This week, let's fly higher

The American Snout butterfly is small and unassuming with a prominent “nose” for which it is named. This butterfly is the one that, in some seasons, travels in clouds across our city for several weeks each spring and fall. But unlike other animals and insects that migrate, the American Snout butterflies don’t really have a destination. They start moving when their numbers get too big as a way to ensure that there aren’t too many butterflies in one area. The local population moves from one part of Texas to another with no real goal other than to spread out.


These days, of course, this "migration" is also a strong population control measure, as they travel low to the ground and end up getting decimated by cars. (When you have to clean your car each spring and fall, those are almost all American Snout butterflies that you are washing off.) We just had some pass through, though not as many as in the past few seasons. Still here and there you can see one flitting about.


This slightly disorganized behavior of the American Snout reminds me a lot of my internal state at the moment. I get overwhelmed by too much news and anxiety and move about rather aimlessly, trying to just do something else, without really knowing what, and not trying particularly purposefully or effectively. I run around, going from one place to another, hoping the waves of stress will just disappear, but all the while I am getting pummeled by the metaphorical traffic. Instead of stepping away from the madness, I just launch myself into this cycle again and again.